$4 million boost for Moosomin Airport expansion

$2.7 million from Nutrien, $1.3 million from province

February 8, 2023, 6:10 pm
Kevin Weedmark

Saskatchewan Highways Minister Jeremy Cockrill and Nutrien Executive Vice President and President, Potash Chris Reynolds both announced new funding for Moosomin's airport expansion project Wednesday

The Moosomin airport expansion is $4 million closer to reality after announcements by Nutrien and the provincial government Wednesday of new funding for the expansion.

Nutrien donated $2,718,902.34 to the project and the province committed $1.3 million above the amount the province has already given, for a combined total of $4 million in new funding for the airport. The Nutrien contribution matches the total government funding for the project.

With the new funding, work on the airport expansion can go to tender.

Before Wednesday’s announcement, municipalities had donated $832,500, the province had committed $866,526.82 and donations from companies and individuals added up to $277,959, for a grand total of $1,976,958.80.

The province will contribute the additional $1.3 million from its highways and transportation budget.

“I have to give credit to the community because they’ve really kept this on the radar and really facilitated this discussion,” Highways Minister Jeremy Cockrill said. “When we learned about the possibility of Nutrien coming in as a partner, that’s really when things accelerated in terms of what the government can do to get this over the line. We really view this as a strategic investment in this area, and certainly one that justifies the investment.”

“The pitch for me that really got it over the line was the community involvement,” said Chris Reynolds, President of Potash for Nutrien. “That the community was committed to this, the community had taken the initiative to start the fundraising effort, made a difference. It wasn’t just the community saying ‘you’re a big corporation, you have deep pockets, you need to contribute to this.’ They were saying, ‘we’ve got this need in this community, can you help us get there. We’ve started with a portion of the fundraising, can you help us get there, and by the way, the government of Saskatchewan is going to come in as well.’

“I think all of that came together, but the fact that it started from the community was very important.”

"We’ve got a significant investment in this area and we are going to be here for decades to come. This investment for us is just a natural extension of that.So this is just investing in our home. This is investing in our back yard and that’s very important to us. I can’t wait to fly a plane in here and enjoy the new facilities when it’s up and running."

“We feel this is the next logical step for our town and region as we grow to be a regional center for business and health services,” Mayor Larry Tomlinson said at the announcement.

“We are very thankful to the government of Saskatchewan and Nutrien for sharing in our vision for the Southeast corner of Saskatchewan.”

“This is a real success story as a regional partnership. The airport is located in the RM of Moosomin, but not only are we working with our partners at the Town of Moosomin and the Community Builders Alliance, but 14 different municipalities are involved in funding the expansion, including two municipalities in Manitoba” said Reeve David Moffatt of the RM of Moosomin..

“We’re grateful for their support, and for the support we have received from the provincial government through the CAP program up to this point.

“That support, that partnership, from the local level to the provincial level, has brought this project to the point we are today.

“This project is equally important to this area of the province by allowing businesses ready access to the province, the country, the world. That access will be a game-changer for many businesses and will add productivity and opportunity. I can feel the energy of the business community and I am so excited to be able to watch them maximize this valuable resource.”

Community Builders Alliance president Tyler Thorn said the airport will save time for both businesses in the area and the health care system by allowing access to the Saskatchewan Air Ambulance.

“In today’s world, time is our greatest asset, an airport is one of the few ways entrepreneurs and health care professionals can buy back time,” he said.

“To those of you who have made the decisions to help fund this project, we understand and appreciate the magnitude of those decisions and our organization fully supports you in those decisions and will continue to work alongside you providing the people and financial resources we have available to help see the project through to completion.

“On behalf of the CBA, I would like to thank all of you who have worked hard and invested in this project to make it a reality.”